While it is of interest to know how minerals, plants and animals fit into the universal evolutionary scheme i believe they are out of place in a scheme/chart which attempts to illustrate how our own souls are situated within 4 material planes and 3 spiritual planes. Both concepts are different and they are trying to say different things.
A good theory should explain more things more elegantly. So if this system can account for mineral, plant, and animal evolution -- on top of human and trans-human spiritual evolution -- then that is a good theory. If what you propose requires rejecting mineral, plant, and animal development as irrelevant, then that might come off as defending a lesser theory by dismissing the parts it cannot elegantly explain.
If the "Ra" chart is dealing with those 7 densities of self- manifestation it should stick to that in it's numerical scheme. If it wants to deal with the subject of evolution through the various elemental forms of life (minerals, plants animals), it should perhaps stick to that in a separate numerical scheme. By trying to do both (or misunderstanding them for each other in a scheme dealing with the 7 vibrational "densities") it loses coherance, creates unnecessary complexity and thereby results in all the semantic difficulties people are having trying to describe what it is actually saying. That's why i stated matter of factly that it is simpler than that. Compare both charts above.
To quote Einstein - "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." That means, account for facts as simply as possible, but don't ignore some facts to make it simplistic. The density scale is primarily about gradations in sophistication of consciousness. But the reason why an additional numerical scheme isn't used is that sophistication of consciousness determines everything else including bodily composition and type of environment. So fourth density is as much a state of being as a level of existence, because state of being determines level of existence. It's not as simple as what you propose, but it accounts for more things that must be accounted for. I think the seeming lack of coherence is more due to the style of delivery than the message content itself. It is not that jumbled to me, but I'm familiar with enough sources related to the Ra Material that it's easier to read between the lines and understand parts of it in that bigger context.
For the sake of simplicity i would explain by saying that, as far as the souls incarnation in matter is concerned, the 4 planes of matter are cups or vessels of consciousness rather than levels of consciousness. True, the 4 lower bodies and the 4 planes they occupy are 'conscious' in their own way. That is, like all elemental energy they have a certain elemental consciousness. But only as vessels serving the spiritual evolution of the soul.
I can see this working as a separate system that deals strictly with the evolution of the "human" soul, but because it focuses on a smaller slice of existence, it would be a subset of the Ra density scheme rather than an entirely alternate system competing with it. Whereas your simpler system starts at the human stage and says we have four material bodies, the Ra density system would say: sure but these bodies are advanced composites of what exist to a lesser extent in minerals, plants, and animals. That's what I tried to show in my last post, that with each new density new elements are added to the previous composite. We have etheric and so do plants, we have astral bodies and so do animals, but we also have what plants and animals do not have, and likewise there are advanced beings who have all these but also what we don't yet possess. I think it's a simple system that epitomizes the ideas of progress, evolution, and growth.
But here, it's noteworthy to recall that "Ra" denies the necessity of the etheric and Buddhic (I AM) levels in the current "harvest", yet in "Ra's" chart above he associates the etheric body with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th densities. Also, by dismissing the current relevance of the etheric level we are left wondering whether "Ra" proposes that Christ should leapfrog the etheric level in order to embrace the soul in the 3 lower material planes. And don't forget that you can become the buddha while in this physical body. There are undoubtedly people in this world today with the spiritual attainment of the buddha. If you concern yourself with the vibrations of etheric and Buddhic planes (as "Ra" advises against in his version of "harvest") you can become the buddha. The path of Christhood perfects the soul. Quietly comes the buddha.
That chart was my interpretation of the Ra density scheme in context of everything I have researched, so the blame is better laid on me if it has errors or shortcomings. That said, what you bring up above involves a crossing of concepts that need to be untangled. The first problem is that the etheric is not identically sixth density, even though it is reflective of it. So when Ra talked about it not concerning us, Ra was referring to 6D graduation. Meanwhile, we here in 3D have etheric bodies that do need attention and refinement for further spiritual progress. Ra was not referring to ignoring development of our etheric bodies. That should have been asked or clarified in the Ra material, but unfortunately it has to be inferred.
As for becoming a buddha, the actual functional definition of becoming a buddha is identical to becoming fourth density STO. Which makes sense, because I doubt that anyone can skip densities by just meditating... but having a major illumination, a total clearing of karma, an activation of a higher awareness, that is something that would bring one from third to fourth.
Another thing that came to my mind is that the system you are describing may not only start at the human stage of development (skipping discussion of mineral, plant, animal) but end there also. In other words, what in your system is the highest, rather than corresponding to 5D, 6D, 7D, etc... corresponds instead to the highest levels of 3D -> 4D initiation.
How the ether relates to 6D is an issue worth resolving. We already explored how astral relates to 4D. It makes sense if we do have all seven bodies in potential, but that only some are active and developed according to our level of spiritual advancement. For instance, we humans have astral bodies, yes, but we are not always aware of them let alone have mastery over them. According to Rudolf Steiner, in dreamless sleep we leave behind the physical and etheric bodies and go with our astral bodies to the spirit realms, remembering nothing of it afterward except what impressions later trickled through into our dreams when the astral returns and merges into the etheric body . And yet what is said about fourth density life indicates that beings there have mastery over the astral body, and can exist in the astral state without a break in the continuity of consciousness. In that way do I think 4D is associated with the astral even though we in 3D also have astral bodies.
Here is what Ra says about the etheric body:
The indigo-ray body which we choose to call the etheric body is, as we have
said, the gateway body. In this body form is substance and you may only see
this body as that of light as it may mold itself as it desires.
And likewise, the etheric body according to other sources is an energy templating field looking like a network of light, responsible for maintaining form. I would call it an attractor field (as in the attractor points of chaos theory) because it alters probability of physical events to conform to nonphysical intent. For instance, the black occult technique of creating an etheric thoughtform to attack another person by causing them to get sick or get into an accident alters probability to accomplish that. There are positive thoughtforms too. Our etheric bodies shape probability to ensure our cells and nerves continue to function against the physical forces of entropy. It is a body of light. And interestingly, the Cassiopaeans claim to be of sixth density, claim to be light beings, and have referred to themselves as thought forms:
A: Remember, we are the light. They are the dark. We are both high
level thought forms reflected at all levels of reality.
To clear this up, let me suggest that like the astral planes, the etheric plane transcends across densities and what part of the etheric we can access, what part makes up our etheric body, is only that slice of it corresponding to our third density level of development. Astral projectors, including many on this forum, know that when you leave your body you can wind up in the etheric level which is a luminous overlay of the physical populated with the occasional thoughtform... but that is obviously not sixth density. This can be reconciled if, just as with the higher astral planes being inhabitable by higher fourth density, so might the higher etheric plane be inhabitable by higher sixth density. What for us is an etheric body closely tied to the physical and astral and conforming to their shape, could at sixth density become the main body, one that is entirely liberated from such constraints.
Also we "can access the inner planes" in any state, not just the astral state. Given we are talking about the soul's access to inner planes it matters not which material body is occupied by the soul. The opportunity to enter into the inner- Spirit is always present no matter which of the bodies is 'worn' or lost in any plane.
What you are describing here would fit, in the Ra/Cass density scheme, the timeless spirit realm of fifth density. The one thing I get from these sources concerning 5D is that first, lower density beings visit there in between lifetimes, that demonic STS entities exist there too in quarantine, that there are beings native to that density who have transcended physicality, and that all these are not in direct contact with each other in 5D. So that would correspond to what you said about it not mattering what level is occupied by the soul, for the soul is in touch with fifth density regardless. What you call inner planes and define as being restricted to this 5D spirit realm, I was instead defining as the astral planes and now, possibly this spirit realm as the upper non-astral portion of the inner planes.
The individual Christ Self (the Son) is a projection of the I AM Presence (the Father). They are virtually indistinguishable from each other so that when the Son acts (in the service of the soul and other souls) it is always in perfect attunement with the Father. The Christ Self is spiritual but it is tasked (as mediator between spirit and matter) to descend into the 4 material planes to heal, enlighten and raise the soul back (through Christ) into spiritual union with the I AM Presence.
Okay, thanks for explaining those terms. Then it is clear to me that within the Ra cosmology, the Christ/Son is what becomes fully active in 4D/5D while the I AM / Father becomes fully active in 6D/7D. As for the ecstatic union between Son and Father, they still stay separate, but are in close contact. I mean, the Joseph Benner books (The Impersonal Life) describe meditations for turning within and getting in touch with your Higher Self, and as ecstatic as this union can be, and as much as you retain higher consciousness afterwards, you are still in 3D/4D while the Higher Self is still your future completed self in 6D. Another feature of the cosmology is that in 5D, that is when you are in active dialogue and receive guidance from your 6D self concerning the design of your incarnations in the lower densities. That's another form of union, while maintaining separation.
This leads to another point I wish to bring up, which is that meditation and contact with the inner planes can only take you to the next step, but not beyond -- no skipping densities -- and the example of that is eastern meditators who reach samadhi or nirvana. Although they feel bliss, similar to 4D or experience the dissolution of individuality and merger with the All, similar to 7D, these are neither 4D nor 7D and those meditators still stay here in 3D. It's like feeling the warmth of the sun versus becoming a sun. So when you talk about entering the inner planes, contact with the Father and all that, I have to draw a distinction between this kind of contact where afterwards you come back refreshed and elevated, and actually merging with or becoming the Father in the full sense which only happens after much much more experience, growth, and hard wisdom gained.
While the Causal Body has been denoted as the "body of first cause" this doesn't mean that it is the 'highest level' of personal Selfhood, or even the highest level of the impersonal universal Self. But it is Spiritual and it is not lost as the 4 elemental material bodies are. It is retained after the Ascension as the sum of all experience in materiality.
Yes, makes sense. So I was right to put the causal body in sixth density in that chart, because the description of the causal body matches both the Higher Self being the sum of all experience in individuality, and our own etheric bodies carrying the imprints of our experiences (according to other sources like Steiner). As a sidenote, the ether body has to be the source of FRV, frequency resonance vibration. FRV is raised or lowered out of how you choose to respond to life experiences, and it also determines what life experiences you attract -- which again is the probability-bending property of the etheric. And what is the bending of probability other than the initiation of chains of cause and effect, of providing the first cause to physical events from beyond the quantum level... the reason I'm bringing these up is to show that when something is close to the truth, it fits from multiple directions.
So there is an ascension process (the path of resurrection of the lower- self) and (what David Wilcock speaks of) as the 'Ascension event'. Many joys, ecstacies and sorrows attend that path. So Ascension is more than the "activation" of the souls awareness of Christ and the I AM Presence. That is the path of progressive awakening. The 'Ascension event' is the permanent merger of the soul to Spirit. During the soul's path to the Ascension, the Christ and I AM Presence must be "activated".
That much is explained in the Ra Material, though not using the same terms. In regards to 4D graduation, Ra seems to refer to activation of the I AM presence as entering into greater communion with the Higher Self, while activation of the Christ is about the activation of the heart chakra and acquiring a total dedication to love, understanding, and service to those in the lower densities. I still don't know whether the "I AM" presence is the highest of the human phase of development, or the highest of spiritual development altogether. Maybe both, in the sense of only at the highest phase of human development do you enter into full communion with your future self which is at your highest phase of spiritual development. That would make sense to me. Whatever the case, 4D graduation according to Ra would mean transcending linear spacetime, having your heart chakra and love/understanding fully enabled, and serving others under the guidance of your Higher Self. I think that's similar to what you're describing with the Christ/Father relationship upon Ascension.
If they're claiming that their "higher 6th density" level is the loss of individuality or that it is some kind of inevitable merger of individual self- realisation then that isn't true. Even 7th density at the level of I AM there is individualiy.
Oh, what both Ra and the Cassiopaeans claim is that in sixth density you have mastered the path of the individual spirit, and that while maintaining your individuality you now enter into a harmonized grouping with others so that although individual progress has been exhausted, group progress is still left to explore. And once that has been exhausted, then there's nothing left of either individual or group to explore, and so the path ends by complete merger with the All. Ra and C's differ in where it ends exactly, Ra suggests there could be another octave beyond 7D, while the C's say that it ends there, but I have no way of even hypothesizing whether either of those could be true or false.
And so on if you lose the astral body and awake to the mental body as your lowest material body then you still have inner planes (etheric + spiritual planes). The inner planes are always veiled from regular vision unless they are awakened to from within. How is this information solving the relationship between 4d and the astral plane?
We're using the same words to mean different things, but I'll summarize what is apparent to me so far. The etheric and astral are accessible to denizens of multiple densities, spanning across them without being localized to any one of those densities. Astral seems to factor into 2D, 3D, and 4D life with emphasis on 4D. Ether seems to factor into 1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, maybe 5D, and 6D with emphasis on 6D. The inner planes, if defined as time/space, must therefore include both mental and astral planes because thoughts do not take place in space-time, nor are the astral planes in space-time. As for the ether, going back to the empirical observations of astral projectors and clairvoyants, the ether we can observe seems to conform to the shape of physical objects and beings except in the case of thoughtforms. So the ether still has a space-time aspect to it, maybe it's the interface between space-time and time-space, which would make sense if it is between the physical and astral bodies and functions as a mediator between them.
When you talk about the inner planes being veiled unless awakened to from within, that is another arena of potential confusion in this discussion. See, I have read about this in several places including Steiner's work, and it's clear to me that this "inner vision" is a form of active dreaming, of being able to turn away from the external space/time world and invert yourself into a state similar to when you're dreaming. It's like the dream environment can become to the spirit realms what your computer becomes to the internet -- a mechanism to decode, in your own visual language, the energy and information that transcends visual form and originating from way beyond the level of your waking state. The problem is that attaining this vision is only the beginning, and you are still barred from the higher levels of the inner planes unless you improve yourself spiritually. Not only that, but I question how many of the seers that contributed to the theosophical literature on the spirit planes were discerning enough to access the right levels in the right way without prejudice.
Also, this same ability of inner vision can be used clairvoyantly to see the inner essence and hidden dynamics of waking life events as you observe them with dual vision, one inner, the other physical. And in that state, you can see etheric thoughtforms among other things. So you can be seeing with physical eyes and interact with the world around you, while simultaneously seeing the etheric or even astral aspects of your environment. Don't have anything to disagree with here, but wanted to share my understanding of inner vision in case it differs from yours.
(will have to address your next post another time)
Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.